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NOVICA Artisan Yurivilca Family

Yurivilca Family

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In his traditional weaving town, the name Yurivilca shines brightly, yet it is the name don César Yurivilca that truly resonates - the result of the man's inimitable success in the art of textiles. Don César is currently somewhat of an institution in a town that has made its name on tapestry weaving. This prestige is garnered not only through the success of his tapestries but also because Don César is a pioneer in the field, choosing to take a different path from the traditional techniques and inventing the tapiz relleno. All the local weavers now follow Don Cesar's technique because they are able to achieve a visual impact with their weavings similar to that which a painter is able to create with his canvas.

I've been involved in the field of weaving since I was a child. The influence comes from my family and from my town as well. My parents and my grandparents were weavers and almost everyone in town is involved in this activity. All that I've learned has come from practice, for I've never received any kind of schooling in the art of weaving. I am always seeking to develop new forms and styles for my art. This art gives me great spiritual satisfaction, especially when I am able to teach the new generation of weavers. I hope that I can leave behind an informal schooling tradition whereby people from my hometown can always depend on weaving to make a living. In fact, we've formed a type of community with my children César, Julio, Grimalda, and Wilfredo, whereby they teach the other young children the skills that I've taught them.

All of my weavings reveal traditional aspects of my town and Peruvian culture in general. I've made tapestries, blankets, rugs, cloaks and even bags, for which I use sheep's wool on a cotton warp. For the colors, I employ natural as well as artificial dyes. My primary tool is the loom, comprised of a wood shuttle, combs and pegs. The process of my work consists of applying the relleno technique, which means positioning the colored wool between the rows of threads according to the design, and adjusting it with the comb to ensure a compact and precise product.

During my career I have received many awards and prizes, including the designation of Grand Master, but nothing satisfies me more than the love that I receive from my fellow countrymen — the only thing that will keep me going after I turn 80 years old. I hope that through working with you, I am able to meet new friends and to also disseminate the art and culture of my country, Peru.

Don César is a man of modest words and rich dreams. With his provincial simplicity and incredible dignity, he has exhibited his works in Australia and Colombia. He has declined many invitations to exhibit his work because he believes that his place is in Peru, and that the Peruvian who leaves should soon return, for one cannot live much time with their feet in another country.